Hi all! Time for my second posting about classroom management! Classroom management is one of the major strengths that my CT has. The classroom I am pracing at in Dublin has seventeen students, so the amount of students in the classroom is not overwhelming. My CT believes that having a quieter classroom environment promotes learning because the students are more able to focus. I'm not sure if this style of teaching is unique to my CT, or is also used in other classrooms in Ireland, but my CT is able to maintain a strong control of the classroom. She implements several strategies in order to maintain control of the classroom. One of those strategies is to have clear expectations of what is going to happen during the day. When the kids first walk in and sit down at their desk there is already a list of what they are supposed to do in their work books, similar to what a 'Do Now' is back home. The kids have an assignment first thing in the morning every day, so once they put their backpacks down, they go straight to the cubby that holds their journal and get started on the page of work that is assigned to them. This allows the students to get into the mentality of working and prevents loud conversations to start. It also creates a more serious atmosphere immediately from the start of the day.
Another strategy that my teacher implements in her classroom is to have a lot of silent work. She likes to have a quieter classroom without a lot of partner or group work. My CT will tell the students what page in their workbook they are supposed to turn to, and then the students work on that assignment individually. The pages are put on the board so none of the students have to ask for clarification on what is expected, they will instead transition smoothly into their independent work. My CT walks around the classroom, so when the students have questions, they raise their hand, she will go over and answer them. If many of the students have the same question, she will pause their individual work and go over again a concept that confused much of the class, and then the students continue until the majority of them have finished the worksheet.
A third strategy my CT uses in her class is to raise her hand, which means she wants the class to be quieter. When the students see this, they raise their hands in response as well and the class quiets down. This works very well for this class as a strategy to get control of the students when they are getting too rowdy.
From my observations in the classroom, I have noticed that my CT rarely has to discipline the students because they usually are diligent in their work. If a particular student is talking, she will speak their name, and the student will recognize they are disrupting the others and return to their work. My CT is very good at maintaining the class and I feel lucky I am able to observe the techniques she uses to have such a well behaved class!